So Old It's New (Part 3): Ancient and Modern Troubadours

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Medieval Troubadours

The third installment of a four-part miniseries investigating ancient music (c. 1300 or earlier) that might very well be mistaken for new music, The Brothers Balliett investigate a medieval French phenomenon that swept the countryside and changed the face of music: the troubadours.

Troubadours and trouveres, court or itinerant musicians known for sharing epic poems, lais, and songs, rarely wrote down their creations and discoveries. When such 'scores' were produced, they were certainly not notated with the degree of detail that we are accustomed to today -- so in a way, the living interpreters of these archaic symbols become collaborative composers with the Troubadours of yesteryear, making choices for those creators who cannot explain themselves.

We'll hear a range of troubadour songs performed by Paul Hillier and Benjamin Bagby, rhythmically-complex troubadour-style lais by Machaut and Dufay, and selections from Nils Boltman's Troubadour Blue.

Since a troubadour is not likely to knock on your door these days, tune in to see what all the fuss was about.